Destiny 2: Beyond Light takes the multiplayer shooter into the dark
With Beyond Light, Destiny 2 enters what amounts to its fourth iteration since being released in 2017.
The core gameplay of the third-person shooter, which revolves around exploring varied environments and getting into firefights with alien enemies, remains the same. But there have been enough changes to other elements of the game as to make Beyond Light something different.
The resounding sense here is that Bungie is trying to keep fans interested in the game they’ve been playing for years, while providing enough of a reset that it’s a good entry point for new players.
So many familiar things are now gone. Five of the locations that players had been visiting have disappeared: Mercury, Mars, Io, Titan, and the Leviathan ship. All quests and activities, including strikes, that were based on those locations have been removed from the game.
Likewise, many of the exotic and legendary weapons from the first two years of Destiny 2 have also been put into the archive, although players who have this equipment in their inventory or personal vault can still use it, and Bungie has come up with a way for people to acquire that gear.
A streamlined experience
But all of the old stuff is having its power capped. You’re welcome to be nostalgic about that Bad Juju pulse rifle. If, on the other hand, you want a more powerful weapon, you’ll look to acquire No Time to Explain instead.
Removing all of this streamlined the Beyond Light experience, making way for the addition of Europa as a new location and the starting point for a new narrative that suggests that the darkness is not necessarily bad; it’s just a state and a tool that can be used by the Guardians.
That brings us to Stasis, which joins Arc, Solar, and Void as a new elemental power that draws on the darkness to give Guardians control over cold and ice. Each of the three classes wields Stasis in its own way. Warlock Shadebinders fire freeze from a Stasis staff, Hunter Revenants have Kama blades that explode when thrown, and the Titan Behemoth forms a crystal gauntlet for punching.
If there’s a danger for Bungie’s attempt to lure new players it’s that there are a few aspects of the game that are perhaps more complicated than they need to be. For one, there are multiple different in-game currencies that are used different ways to improve your Guardian and your gear.
But Europa is a compelling new destination. Stasis is a cool new mechanic. And I still find it easy to lose myself in the basic Destiny mechanics of running and gunning and collecting loot.
The Cosmodrome returns
And those other amazing locations that have gone into Bungie’s vault aren’t gone forever. They will be brought back in time. The moon and a region of Russia were part of Destiny but not Destiny 2. The moon was reworked and reintroduced in year three of Destiny 2. In Beyond Light, the Cosmodrome, which was where the original game started, makes its return.
There’s also an updated version of the first set of missions that launched the game. This is perfect for new players who want the whole story, and for long time fans who want to remember where it all started in the first place.
Bungie is releasing an update for PS5 and Xbox Series S/X on December 8. In the meantime, you can play the PS4 and Xbox One versions on the new consoles.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light is available now on PS4, PS5, Stadia, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X. Rated teen.